The virulence of the WSB-98 isolate of Piscirickettsia salmonis from white seabass Atractoscion nobilis was compared with that of the American Type Culture Collection type strain LF-89, which was originally isolated from coho salmon Oncorhynchus kisutch in Chile. In controlled laboratory challenges of juvenile coho salmon, the isolate from white seabass exhibited virulence that was equal to or greater than that of LF-89. The cumulative percent mortality (CPM) was similar between groups of coho salmon receiving an intraperitoneal injection of WSB-98 at 104.5 tissue culture infectious dose with 50% endpoint (TCID50)/fish (CPM = 98%) or an injection of LF-89 at 104.8 TCID50/fish (CPM = 95%). The mean day to death of 9.3 d for WSB-98 and 18.6 d for LF-89, however, differed significantly (P < 0.0001) between the two isolates. The virulence of an isolate of P. salmonis from white seabass for a salmonid species is consistent with the hypothesis that nonsalmonids can serve as natural marine hosts for the bacterium and potential sources for infection of salmonids. ?? Copyright by the American Fisheries Society 2006.